Given that yesterday was the anniversary date of the 9/11 attacks, I would be remiss if I failed to point out why there was so much anger and rage among foreigners toward the United States in the years leading up to those attacks.
After all, don’t forget what U.S. officials and their interventionist cohorts steadfastly maintained in the immediate aftermath of the attacks: that the terrorists just hated America for its “freedom and values.”
That was a lie — and U.S. officials and their interventionists cohorts knew that it was a lie.
The reason that foreigners bore such deep anger and rage toward the United States was because of the U.S. government’s deadly and destructive interventionist antics in the Middle East after the ostensible end of the Cold War.
Those interventionist antics included the intentional destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage-treatment plants in the Persian Gulf War, where the U.S. government was claiming that Saddam Hussein was a “new Hitler,” notwithstanding the fact that he had been a partner and ally of the U.S. government during the 1980s.
The intentional destruction of those water-and-sewage treatment plants followed a Pentagon study that concluded that the destruction of those plants would help spread infectious illnesses among the Iraqi populace.
Once the war was over, the U.S. government enforced one of the most brutal systems of economic sanctions in history against the Iraqi people. Not only did the sanctions progressively impoverish the Iraqi people, they also succeeded in accomplishing what the Pentagon hoped to accomplish with its destruction of those water-and-sewage treatment plants. That’s because the sanctions prevented Iraqi officials from repairing those water-and-sewage-treatment plants, which thereby fulfilled the Pentagon’s aim of spreading infectious illnesses among the Iraqi populace.
The segment of the Iraqi populace that bore the brunt of this vicious policy were Iraqi children. The U.S. government, which Martin Luther King called the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” used the sanctions to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Coming to mind are the infamous words of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madelene Albright, who publicly declared the sentiments of the U.S. government when she said that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it.”
That’s one of the big reasons for the anger and rage among people in the Middle East toward the United States prior to the 9/11 attacks. Who wouldn’t get angry and filled with rage over the killings of innocent children?
When Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who participated in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was brought before a federal judge for sentencing, he didn’t say that he hated America for its “freedom and values.” He cited the massive death toll among Iraqi children and angrily accused U.S. officials of being “butchers.”
When Mir Aimal Kansi, the terrorist who shot CIA officials as they were waiting on the road to turn into CIA headquarters, was brought to justice, he too cited the deaths of those Iraqi children as a motivating factor for his act of terrorism.
What’s fascinating is that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were fully aware of this phenomenon prior to the 9/11 attacks and simply chose to ignore it. Don’t forget, for example, that there were other terrorist attacks prior to the 9/11 attacks, such as the attack on the USS Cole and the attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa.
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the noted former CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson published his book Blowback, which expressly warned that if the Pentagon and the CIA continued with their deadly and destructive interventionist antics in the Middle East, there would inevitably be retaliatory “blowback” on American soil. He wasn’t the only one. Other commentators, including here at FFF, were saying the same thing.
Nonetheless, in conscious disregard of the deadly consequences that were almost certain to result from the U.S. government’s interventionist antics, U.S. officials knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately continued enforcing their deadly and destructive sanctions that were killing those Iraqi children.
As Martin Luther King correctly pointed out, the U.S. government is “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” It was that purveyance of violence, not some hatred for America’s “freedom and values,” that generated the anger and hatred in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks.
Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.